This blog began as a record for my family, specifically our grandkids, of the awesome art journey I've traveled. It's become a teaching tool, a means to share and receive input from others, and a special way to 'meet' very special people.

This painting was the very first watercolor that I did by myself, no teacher. And it's on a full sheet of Arches. My first teacher, Suzanne Mayes Wentzell, taught our aspiring group of beginners each Wednesday evening for three hours. Those three hours became the highlight of each week for me, and I did everything I could to not miss class, no matter how tired I was after work, etc.

I remember edging those petunias with Sepia to accent them. The flowers were a combination of Rose Madder Genuine and Alizaron Crimson, both by Winsor Newton. Later I learned the hard way that those two colors would fade to a dirty pink. Both colors were eventually pitched even though I dearly loved them.

When I took this painting into class to show Suzanne, I was SO PROUD and happy with how well I thought it turned out. She was kind and not brutal with her critique, and her encouragement was a positive force in my early watercolor days. It's not in my nature to paint high key like this painting, but back then I was pleased as can be with the soft approach.

That was twenty one years ago. That passion that was ignited in me for watercolor has never left, and I am continually amazed at how many possibilities there are in this wonderful art world. Now I enjoy exploring any and all water media on any surface that will hold paint. What an adventure!

UPDATE - great news. Visited the doctor's office last Friday, 18 days after my knee replacement - I was given the go ahead to drive, swim, dance, work, stop medicines, and even stop physical therapy. I'm doing good, no - GREAT!

I'm going up and down steps like a champ, not like a crippled grandma. My surgeon was tops, and I truly would rather go through this surgery again than have a bad cold! Blessings abound beyond anything I could've hoped for. Thank you for your concern, your caring. I so appreciate it.


jgr said...

WOW! I love the painting and the story of your passion for watercolor. I took up watercolors a couple of years ago and I share your passion for it. Sometimes it is frustrating but that is far outweighed by the reward of when it turns out well. You inspire me to keep going. Also- congrats on your good progress with your knee, I'm happy for you!

Dawn said...

I like this Sandy and the one below. Can you do a short post on high key vs low key.....I think I am confused!

Joyfulartist said...

You were so brave to do a full sheet painting on your first attempt! Bravo! I'm with you on the joys of watercolor. Also, I'm so impressed with your recovery from knee replacement surgery; mine took a little longer but I, too, am so glad I chose to do it.

Billie Crain said...

Sandy, I'm not normally a fan of high key paintings but this has such a wonderful dreamy quality about it I just can't stop looking at it! The little touches of sepia make all the difference, of course. Too bad about the fugitive colors.:( I consider this one a keeper even if it's a 'beginer's' painting.

masmoulin said...

Very nice

A Brush with Color said...

It's encouraging to read about how you developed your style over time. I go through phases where I think, "why do I bother at all" and then think--it's all a journey! YOur work is always lovely--even at the start it was!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks, y'll, for your encouragement and comments. Dawn, high key means soft, light values, nothing dark. The darkest darks tend to be only half way through the value scale. Low key is dark and some mediums, no lights. Your paintings have pushed toward the high key end.